All water vessels without adequate safety equipment especially life jackets have been banned from operating water transport on Lake Albert.
Dr. James Mwesigwa, the Hoima district Fisheries Officer, says the ban is intended to control the rampant accidents on the lake.
He says that his office has learnt that many vessels have been transporting passengers without any life jackets hence exposing them to risks.
Dr. Mwesigwa says although these laws regarding safety on water have existed, there is laxity in enforcing them.
The fisheries department has now launched routine patrols on the lake to ensure that every vessel has life jackets. Fisheries officials will be working with the Beach Management Units on the lake to ensure that non-compliant boats are impounded and their coxswains arrested and charged.
The new directive took effect last week. So far a boat that was found carrying 40 passengers without life Jackets has been impounded and the coxswain arrested.
Augustine Kasangaki, the Hoima district police commander, is optimistic that if enforced, the ban will go an extra mile in saving lives on the waters.
Kasangaki says the police is to be deployed at every landing site on the lake to work hand in hand with Marine police and the Fisheries officials to supervise activities on water and ensure strict adherence to safety precautions.
On August 1, close to 30 people died when a commercial boat carrying over 50 passengers and business merchandise capsized at Kakoma village near Ruunga Landing site in Kigorobya Sub county.
The ill-fated boat was heading to Panyimur market in Nebbi district from Fofo Landing Site in Buseruka sub county, Hoima district at the time of the accident.
Overloading coupled with bad weather was cited as the cause of this tragedy.